My Story of Infertility and Infant Loss

You think the moment you and your partner decide it’s time to have a family that it will happen instantly.  Unfortunately it’s just not that easy for everyone, myself included.  I wanted to share my story of infertility and infant loss in hopes that it can help someone else.

In 2011 my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family and began trying for a baby.  After trying for about a year with no luck I spoke to my OB who suggested I take Provera (to get a period) and Clomid (to ovulate).  For some reason after stopping the birth control pill I wasn’t getting a period on my own.  I did that for 3 months and still nothing so she suggested we see a fertility specialist. Since I had a few issues working against me we did not want to waste any time and we decided to do IVF.  In March of 2013 we did our first IVF cycle.  It was a lot of work, a lot of appointments and a lot of medication, but we were lucky that on the first try it worked!

I found out I was expecting a little boy and everything was going great.  I felt good and had no problems at all, so I thought.  At 36 weeks and 5 days I was rushed to the emergency room and had to have an emergency C-section.  When I woke up I learned that my beautiful boy had to be resuscitated and we were both transferred to another hospital.  After 2 days of intense testing we learned that he had suffered brain damage, amongst having a lot of other problems.  If he survived he would suffer from many severe handicaps.  He was so sick and we couldn’t stand to put him through any more misery, so at just 2 days old we decided to take him off of life support.  We held him for 5 hours until he took his last breath.  It was the worst time of my life and the best time of my life all rolled into one. The next morning all I heard was babies crying.  I was discharged and left the hospital without my baby, with empty arms.  Did this just all really happen? Why did this happen to us?  Were we being punished for something?  Babies aren’t supposed to die, especially my baby.  I felt like I was living a nightmare.

I don’t think I fully comprehended what had happened until I went home and had to look at an empty nursery, and all of the baby things scattered throughout the house. I was fully ready for my baby boy and everything was set around the house for him. The next couples of months were just a blur.  The pain and emptiness that you feel after losing a child is unbearable.  You just can’t imagine going on with your life.  Why is he gone?  Why am I still here?  It just doesn’t make sense.  It should have been me instead of him.  You become severely depressed and full of anxiety.  Seeing everyone go on with their lives while yours has completely stopped is very difficult.  You can’t help but be jealous of every pregnant woman you see.

The truth is nothing will ever be the same again, especially holidays.  Instead of making him his Easter basket I decorate his grave.  Instead of planning his birthday party I am releasing balloons and baking a cake in honor of him for my husband and I to eat by ourselves.  All I have left of him is small memory.

I later learned that he had Velamentous Cord Insertion (with possible Vasa Previa), basically his umbilical cord was not inserted properly into the placenta.  It is something that is easily diagnosed via ultrasound in the second trimester.  The blood that I had lost prior to going to the emergency room was his, a blood vessel from his cord ruptured, that is why he had suffered such severe damage.   Had it been diagnosed his outcome would have been very different, and more likely than not he would have been fine.

I want everyone that is experiencing their own kind of loss to know that slowly as time goes on, you will be okay. The biggest thing that helped me was talking to other women that have been through similar circumstances.  That and just letting  time pass.  No your life will never be the same again, but you do learn to go on.  You don’t ever get over it, or through it, but you learn to live with it.   I promise you that you will laugh and be happy again.  You will even be able to think about your baby and talk about them without crying.  You just start to live a new normal, and your loss becomes a part of you.  That baby will always be your child and no one can take that away from you.

Where am I now?  Well as soon as I was medically cleared we started trying again right away.  This time the infertility issues were even worse.  My next IVF cycle was a chemical pregnancy, and I had multiple failed attempts after that.  We tried using a surrogate and that didn’t work either.  The first attempt failed and the with the second attempt the embryo didn’t survive the thaw.  We then decided we were solely going to focus on adoption it happened.  I was pregnant  ……naturally!

In August 2015 I was blessed with another beautiful little boy. I had a planned c-section and everything went perfectly.  He is now 2 years old and he absolutely lights up our lives, he is our everything.  He in no way replaces my first born son but he definitely has made my days easier and brighter.

Yes this journey is a difficult one, whether its infertility or loss, or both.  I believe the best things in life are worth fighting for, so that’s exactly what we have to do.  Don’t ever give up or lose hope. xo

 

My Favorite Easy, Healthy Dinner Recipes

With Fall officially here that means less grilling and more of using the crock-pot and oven for dinner.  Today I wanted to share with you my favorite recipes that are both easy and healthy.

Baked Chicken Parmesan is kid-friendly and much healthier than frying!

Baked Chicken Parm served with either pasta or spaghetti squash

 

 

Turkey Chili topped with avocado and cheddar cheese

 

 

Chicken Noodle Soup (I cook mine in the crock-pot on low for 8 hours and put the noodles in a half hour before serving)

 

 

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers Recipe - This no-fuss stuffed peppers recipe is the perfect easy family dinner recipe. If you prefer ground beef, it's an easy swap!

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers (I did tweak this recipe, I leave out the garlic, onions, and Italian seasoning and use brown rice instead of wild and mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar cheese)

 

 

Turkey Taco Burrito Bowls are a family favorite meal! Let everyone build their own bowl for a fun do it yourself dinner. Turkey taco meat simmers on the stove top to make these burrito bowls so flavorful and a quick, 30 minute dinner that everyone will love. Add on all of your favorite taco toppings for a fun and delicious dinner. 

Turkey Taco Burrito Bowls

 

 

Although the summer calls for salads and grilling, don't forget easy slow cooker recipes! Easy to mix together in the morning, and ready in the evening. Classic pot roast for the win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crock-pot Pot Roast (I do often leave out the soup mix and can of soup and just use a can of beef broth instead)

 

 

amazing-slow-cooker-soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta E Fagioli (I add pasta and beans 30 mins before serving)

The New Planner I Am Obsessed With

Last month I shared some products that  I use that help keep me organized (you can read about that here).  One of those things is a planner.  I am without a doubt a planner addict.  I have tried them all, at every price tag, but in the end never stuck with one because it’s layout didn’t suit my needs.  That has changed because my new planner from Emily Ley, The Simplified Planner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s name says it all, it’s simple.  Nothing fancy, just what you need.  Each month has a calendar, then each day has a page.  Each day page has time slots for 7am to 9pm where you can write your appointments.  Then also a section to write your to do list tasks, meals, and notes.  That’s it!  But guess what, it’s all I need.

I started using academic versions since I really feel like my year starts in the fall.  They also have so many beautiful covers, I opted for the white and gold polka dots with matching pen.  It is on the thick side, but there is a page for every day of the year so it’s to be expected.  They do have a weekly version if you don’t feel like you need a page for every day.

There are so many awesome planners out there and everyone’s needs are different.  This one has been working out great for me and I highly recommend it.

 

How I Organize My Son’s Closet

When I was pregnant I had a custom closet put in my son’s nursery.  It wasn’t just for aesthetic purposes, is just really helps keep my organized.

When he was born we got so many wonderful gifts from people. I just can’t keep them all out at one time, so blankets, stuffed animals, piggy banks, etc I swap out once in awhile to change up the accessories in his room and keep the one’s that are currently being stored away up on the top shelves.  I like to keep all of the shoes that currently fit him out so I can see them too.  One’s that are still too big I store in a basket on the shelf.

I keep jeans, pants, and shorts folded on the shelf as well.  He is in between sizes right now so on the left I keep his 24 months and on the right his 2t.

Hanging on the left I keep his short sleeve tops.  I try to keep t-shirts and polos together so I can easily grab what I am looking for.  On the bottom left is his outerwear like jackets and vests.  On the top right are all of this long sleeve shirts and button downs.  Middle right is sweaters and sweatshirts.  And bottom right will be for any nice clothes that are still a size too big that I pick up or he gets as gifts.

I love having these drawers in the middle too.  On the top I keep hats and accessories.  Under that is swimwear and holiday pj’s that I am waiting to break out.  Under that is for play clothes and pj’s that don’t fit him yet and are the next size up (I really like to buy ahead).  And on the bottom is his hamper.

Keeping everything organized like this really helps me get him dressed and ready so much faster in the morning.

My Son’s Nursery

My son’s nursery has to be my favorite room of the house.  When I was pregnant I had so much fun designing it.  Even though he is 2 years old, I haven’t changed much since I originally did it.

 

Even though we found out the gender while pregnant I wanted to keep most of the room neutral so I could easily change bedding and accessories as he got older.  The paint color I used was Sherman Williams Simply Beige SW6085.  I had the painter do vertical stripes and alternate matte and semi-gloss finishes for a subtle yet fun look.

The furniture is from Bratt Decor, it is the Chelsea Collection in Expresso.  I got the Lifetime crib, dresser with changing top, book shelf, and end table.  I also purchased the toddler and full bed conversion kits so I would have them (the collection is no longer available).

The chair is from Walmart.  I had a hard time finding a rocker but I’m glad I purchased this one because it is so comfortable and has really help up over the years.    The bedding was purchased at Buy Buy Baby (and is no longer available), I loved it because it went with the neutral theme I wanted but still had a little design to it.  The rug is an ivory shag and I can’t remember what website I got it from but this rug is similar.

I added a small pop of blue with the teddy bear on the book shelf and the toy bins which are from Pottery Barn.  The crown above the crib and the crown above his dresser are both from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child.  My son absolutely loves books so you can see his bookshelf is full of them.  I am still obsessed with his chandelier which is also from Restoration Hardware.

Next summer when I turn his crib into a toddler I will probably change up the decor and get him new bedding so it is a little more boyish and better reflects his personality.